An Overview of E-Commerce Trends in France

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Basic Elements to Consider for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Doing Business in France via E-Commerce Channels

Quick Facts (2016)

  • Population
    • 64.5 million
    • Average household income US$ 46K
  • One of Europe's most connected countries
    • 51.9 million internet users
    • 82.2% of households have access to  broadband Internet
    • 90.5% of households have a mobile telephone
  • Online Food and Drinks Purchases:
    • US$6.9 billion in 2016
    • Forecasted to be US$9.3 billion in 2021 (6.2% annual growth)
  • Consumer spending (2016)
    • Total consumer spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages: US$ 172.8 billion
    • Total consumer spending on Food and non-alcoholic beverages: US$ 2,679 per capita
    • Total online food and drinks spending: US$107.1 per capita
  • French Demographics
    • Male 31.3 million
    • Female 33.2 million
    • Median age 41.2
    • Population growth 0.88%

Top Methods of Accessing the Internet for Shopping

  • 34 million smartphone users
    • 46% of e-retail transactions are made via smartphone
  • 29 million personal computer  users
  • 9.9 million tablets users

Getting the goods to your customers

Top 3 delivery methods in France

  1. Home delivery
  2. Pick up point
  3. Collect in store

Top 3 online payment methods in France

  1. Credit/Debit Cards
  2. Online payments - France has more than 8M PayPal accounts
  3. Direct bank transfers

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French customer behaviour and trends

France is Europe's second-largest e-commerce market. Online revenues continue to grow by double-digits annually.

Other reasons to enter the French market: high purchasing power, reliable payment methods and low shipping costs.

French Shoppers Want:

  • Well prepared, French-language websites.
  • Good service quality.
  • Companies to respect product availability and delivery promises.
  • Choice in their delivery method and date.

Understanding France's online marketplace

  • Food retail is very competitive in France, providing consumers with a wide variety of stores. This leads to competitors introducing more innovative products, as well as more aggressive sales and pricing policies to distinguish themselves.
  • France has the largest Muslim population in the EU, at roughly six million. Its halal market is estimated to be worth US$6.5 billion per year. It represents a great potential for growth in France's mature packaged food market.
  • Canadian companies can have an online store with goods located in France or in another EU member state. You should be prepared to accept the Euro as a currency of payment.
  • Due to an improved offering and wider distribution, French consumers continue to move towards high-end products with taste and safety attributes. Organic is one of the main food drivers with organic packaged food being the star of internet food sales.
  • France has a tradition of consuming varied and expensive food products. Food represents 18% of household budgets. Food ingredients with a health claim, organic and dietetic products (herbal teas, food supplements, gluten-free products) offer great opportunities.
  • Domestic agri-food production is actively promoted, particularly through signs of quality (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée - AOC, Protected Geographical Indication - PGI, organic and Red Label).

Company spotlight: Carrefour

  • Carrefour is a French company which is present in retailing worldwide, with three different formats in store-based retailing: hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores.
  • Carrefour SA is a multinational retailer. The company focuses on grocery retailing, but it has other interests such as cash and carry, wholesale, travel, insurance and banking. In France, it has a wide national coverage.


  • Carrefour operates the internet brands Carrefour Drive and Ooshop/Carrefour. The Carrefour website,, offers grocery and non-grocery items and links to the other two brands so that customers can choose between home delivery or click-and-collect for their orders.

Source for all content: Euromonitor

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